My first real date and my foray into online whatever it is-ery

I went on my first online date the other day.

I’m not really looking for anything right now- my head’s full of problems and resolutions, life changing decisions and life avoiding hangovers. The last thing I need is a boyfriend, and for the first time in my life I really mean it. 

I’ve sworn off men countless times, like the halfhearted alcoholics swear off the booze every morning they wake up with a sense of having gone a little two far the night before.

I’ve never sworn off drink because I won’t even insult my own intelligence with that kind of clearly bullshit declaration.

But men… probably bolstered by a long talk with a girlfriend where we expand upon the myriad reasons men are shit and we are strong independent women they could only possibly reject because we are TOO intelligent and TOO interesting for them to handle. They’re intimidated, we say. They want a dumb bimbo to make them feel like men. You deserve someone special, we both deserve someone special. If only vaginas weren’t so gross and complicated…

And I say I’m sick of them, I’m done with men… wait until someone special comes along.

And two weeks later I’m in the arms of someone making excuses for him while our skin cools. 

Putting him high up on a pedestal where my standards can’t reach and examine his dandruff of a personality.

 

But this time I felt all the cynicism of my past few years condense into a pure solid truth.

I’m sick of men. 

Yes, some day, meet someone great, yes, sure, whatever.

Some day.

But for now? No thank you. I don’t need the headfuck.

But I have this profile on a dating site, I made it when I was in France. I used it as my own personal ego booster.

Every day I’d wake up sick of men, and every day I’d check my fan mail.

Sure, it’s mostly “hey sexy what u at baby xxx lol ;)”

And some of it is “Id fuck de arse off u”

And some of it is less appealing all together..

But I have one nice photo up there and I get a constant stream of impersonal compliments that tide me over while I’m at home in the middle of nowhere, without even a couple of builders to walk past and make me feel like an attractive woman. 

Sad, yes, I know. But effective! 

I just check my mails… I reply to some of the nicer ones. Not nicer looking… they’re all pretty low rent. But some are sweet. I reply graciously, get into the odd conversation, and then make excuses when they offer to meet for coffee.

Some get angry. No reply for a day? “WHAT A SHAME I THOUGHT WE HAD SOMETHING YOU’RE JUST LIKE THE REST OF THOSE GIRLS I MEET I THOUGHT YOU WERE SPECIAL YOU’RE OBVIOUSLY NOT.”

Some I consider meeting, and pore over their photos. You just can’t tell, though. Photos are weird.

One day I clicked like on someone because he had a nice smile and a casual, friendly profile. He liked me first, I just felt like returning the compliment. No interest in a date, not really feeling that way right now as I said.

I’m off men.

Except for this guy I’ve been fucking, but that’s just… excercise.

 

Anyway, this guy writes to me, friendly, nice, interesting. Like me, a kind of multicultural mix and non-standard background. He asks me for a coffee… I say, sure why not.

Because I’m bored and why not? Anyway I’ve never been on a date.

So we fix a time, I make it in way too early. Walk past Topshop and see a sign for sales… I shouldn’t, because I’m broke, but I’m way too early and shopping feels right. Imagine going shopping for underwear and having this stranger on my date ask to see what I bought and me say just underwear, and then he might think I’ve bought special underwear for the date, like a freak… I wonder if he’s weird? Mightn’t he be really weird? We did meet online….

I’m sidetracked by the dresses on the sale rail. Pick up a handfull of things that are too big or small and still too expensive anyway. As I make it to the dressing room I find out they’re closing and I can’t try anything on. Good. That was close…  

I’m at the bar first, and I’m suddenly hyper aware of my posture, my arms, what I’m doing with my coat and my handbag. What if he’s weird. What if he’s ugly. What if he poached those photos from someone’s facebook page and now I’m about to be accosted by some middle aged ugmo… What if he thinks I look nothing like my photo. Am I underdressed? Is my coat too serious? Am I flashing too much leg?

I’m jerking my limbs around trying to get into a casual pose for when this guy appears. I’m doing a crossword at the table outside. He’s not a smoker, but I make the decision to smoke anyway because come on, I don’t even WANT a man, it’s just a casual meeting. No need to change things about myself for someone I haven’t even met and don’t really even want to meet any more. I’m feeling so uncomfortable and considering getting up and running away.

He arrives suddenly. “ABBY? Abay?” 

“Abby.”

“Is it you?”

“Yes… it’s me.”

Suddenly the whole thing is weird. It’s like a job interview but we’re in public and it’s a job interview not for an unemployed person and a company needing assistance, but for two people who can’t get dates on their own.

Not that I am one. But this is my first real date. So yeah, count me in that category.

He doesn’t look… his photo had this big warm boyish smile. He looks more tired, more… maybe it’s an older photo. 

His accent is kind of strange. He seems like someone I would maybe be friends with but not… 

I’m afraid by smiling at him and being warm and friendly I’m going to give him an impression I’m interested. 

Then I remember I’m not required by law to sleep with anyone I smile at, and decide to be nice and friendly and let HIM deal with the rejection he’ll get if he tries anything, instead of my preventing it with a condom made of bitchiness.

I’ll just be nice. Maybe we can be friends?

He sits down and starts talking. “Were you waiting long? Do you want a coffee? Oh, you have one… I want a coffee. Do you want a beer? I’ll get us two beers.”

I sit there while he gets us two beers. I’m embarassed. What am I doing here meeting a stranger, I’m attractive enough to meet someone in real life without putting all my hopes and dreams and sexual preferences into a questionaire first. 

We drink our beers, he’s very chatty. As chatty as me, even. We talk about ourselves, our hopes, our dreams. He’s cold… we go inside. 

I want to stay outside and smoke but like most smokers in the presence of a non smoker, I’m keen to pretend I don’t actually need or want to smoke, I can take it or leave it, it’s just this thing I do sometimes and nowhere near as often as I really do.

We go inside but every table is angled towards a massive flatscreen tv showing sports.

Do we want to go somewhere else? Yeah, actually… I have a bar in mind. But it’s a bit far…

I tell him I have two places in mind, one is close and nice, but the further one has this drink I love. 

We’re going there, he says.

We walk to this bar I really like. It’s not very well known, and as he’s foreign (but of an English speaking nation) I feel sort of like I’m fulfilling my role as a local by taking him some place a little less obvious.

The bar is cosy and there’s a smoking area that’s just as warm and pretty to sit in.

We sit outside and he sits on the bench beside me. He has one of my rollies. I feel bad for corrupting him, I say, but really I’m delighted to not have to feel so shit while I smoke and he doesn’t. 

I introduce him to my favorite drink. He’s not a big drinker, but he loves my drink. 

We talk about science. Physics… we each have some little physics fact to teach. He’s an educated person, and I’m not. It feels good to have some bits of interesting knowledge to share with someone clever. It’s intimidating being around a clever man, I’m not often in this position and I don’t often feel humbled by someone’s intelligence. But it feels good. I have just as much to talk about as he does, and I loosen up. As we talk we find we have a lot in common. I’m really enjoying talking to him and I’m studying his face, thinking, yes… he is attractive. He’s attractive when he laughs and smiles. 

He starts to get tipsy from the two beers, and it’s a turn off. I can handle my drink, and a man who can’t… it feels a bit embarassing. Especially in Ireland, it’s stupid but it starts to make me tense up again.

He leans in to kiss me and I stop him. 

Sorry, I’m just… I don’t like pdas. It’s nothing personal, I just don’t like to kiss people in public.

Ok, I just don’t care what people think…

It’s not that. I just feel weird… I come to this bar quite a lot. I’m sure no one is even looking but it makes me feel awkward.

Ok, I understand… I don’t want to make you feel awkward.

He tries again later but I’m just really enjoying talking to him. I don’t want to ruin it with sloppy half drunk kissing in my bar.

I say no. I start to check my phone. The last train home is in an hour and a half. And then I have a long walk…

I mention the last train. 

No reaction. He says he’s feeling pretty drunk, he hasn’t drank anything in ages. 

He wouldn’t let me pay for any drinks so far, and we’ve had three or four pints each maybe.

I’m a tiny bit tipsy. Tiny bit. I’m kind of embarassed that he’s drunk after this little. I drink a lot faster too…

He asks if I’m feeling at all drunk. I tell him I probably am drunk, and that I get to this point where I’m convinced I’m sober but really I’m not.

I go to the toilet and trip over the bin in the ladies. Ah, I guess I am a bit drunk. This makes me feel better about him.

Back at the table I tell him I must be more drunk than I thought. But still I am sober enough to know I have to get the last train.

He offers me to come back with him. He only lives a little bit away, and we could watch a movie.

He’s such a generous, sweet, non threatening guy (seemingly anyway) that I think, fuck it…

I don’t care. I can always not sleep with him if I’m not into it.

We get a taxi back to his place and he apologises profusely for his house. It’s just temporary, he says. 

I don’t care. 

He has nothing to drink except some tequila. I drink most of the tequila and feel myself catching up a little in drunkeness.

Outside we share a cigarette and he grabs my face and kisses me. He’s a great kisser. I’m really enjoying myself and enjoying his company. He’s a great, great kisser. We pull apart and grin at each other through the haze of drink.

I didn’t think of him as someone who might be up to my standards sexually, but that’s a great kiss.

 

We go up to his room and he apologises for his room and I wave it all away, I don’t care. It’s sparse enough, not many personal effects. All his stuff is in his friends’ houses. He points to clothes in his wardrobe and says he didn’t want to wear anything too fancy on a first day. Didn’t want to give too eager an impression.

I look down. I’m wearing a skater skirt and t shirt tucked in. I look pretty nice but it’s casual for a night out.

Me either. I didn’t want to dress up too much. We giggle at the fact that we met online. I finish my tequila sitting on the edge of his bed. He puts on music and asks if it’s ok he takes off his jeans. I shrug, I don’t care.

He takes off his jeans and jumper and gets on the bed beside me. We sit cross legged facing each other and talking, and then we kiss and it’s passionate as fuck and he crushes his body against mine and pulls off my clothes and his hands are all over me and it’s all totally unexpected from this mild mannered guy who I spent all night talking to about science and growing up in the countryside. 

We fuck.. and it’s intense. He’s rough but respectful, he fucks the shit out of me but it’s not the woman-hating kind of fucking. He knows exactly what he’s doing and again I’m surprised by him, he seemed so romantic and not the kind of guy to press his hand on a woman’s throat while fucking her relentlessly. 

But he does it all very well. Just the right side of scary rough. He slaps me hard on my ass and squeezes me everywhere tightly and it’s absolutely exactly the righ amount of everything. 

We do it again and again that night. Falling apart drenched in sweat. Snuggling up together, his hands tracing gentle patterns across my body, whispering secrets and memories. I’m so happy and comfortable there with him.

He’s good to talk to. He likes my stories. We’ve done totally opposite things in our lives- he’s doing his second degree, and it’s in a very difficult subject. I’ve been married, I’ve been here and there and living life like a computer game character with endless save points. But we have a lot to talk about.

We fuck again, again, and again. At some points he can’t stay hard with a condom on and I protest but the let him inside naked just for a second even though I know it’s not just a second, it’s so good without a condom, oh fuck it’s so good, that’s amazing… but no, oh, no, stop, you can’t, seriously, stop. 

I stop him and make him put on a condom. And then sometimes it’s amazing and sometimes he can’t stay hard. I don’t care because I know that night is an all you can eat buffet of sex and the only thing that matters is we don’t run out of condoms.

And speaking of all you can eat, he really did treat me to some excellent times. I could tell I wasn’t going to cum, skilled as he was, because I just wasn’t able to, sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t. But I thought I’d fake him a nice courtesy orgasm because that’s what I do, otherwise they’ll just keep at it until they get sick of it and I’d rather never have a man get bored down there. So I did one of my finer, more elaborate productions for him and he just ignored it. Huh.

Eventually I told him to stop, put on a condom and fuck me, and so he did. After he came, and wow, he came noisily and with gusto, he flung me back on the bed and went down again. Because he wanted to taste me again, he said.

We did this all night. At 7am his alarm went off and we decided to go to sleep for a while. He was supposed to get a flight at 10 but he said, (I suspect he’s rich) that he hadn’t booked it yet and could always get another flight.

I tossed and turned for hours and woke him several times. At 12 we woke up properly and lay with our limbs entwined. I played with his hair far too affectionately for someone I’d only met. He stroked my body and told me I had a perfect body. I said oh, I feel like I’ve got a bit flabby since I’ve been unemployed. He said, “what are you talking about, you’re perfect. This is what women’s bodies are supposed to be like.”  We talked about everything and nothing.

We had sex again. Then we found ourselves playing with each other, and playing with ourselves at the same time. We both came although a little out of sync. He marvelled at the fact that he was able to do that with a stranger.

“We just met last night… isn’t that crazy?” he said.

“On the internet” I replied.

“No, don’t say that…”

“Ok, in real life. If anyone aks, you’re my friend from real life.”

“Right. That’s what we’ll say.”

We finally got up because we were so thirsy despite cup after cup of water. Every time I said I was thirsty he got up and went downstairs and brought me back a cup. This, alone, is the most gentlemanly  behaviour I have ever encountered. Sad, huh…

We got dressed. Downstairs he stood in the kitchen making coffee. As I entered the kitchen via three little steps in the doorway, I sat down. 

“I like that there are steps here.”

“I like you in my kitchen… So I can look at you. You’re beautiful”

We grinned at each other like two kids about to get dessert.

He had to go into town to get his bike and eat something… Did I wanna come? I said sure. I had to get a train home anyway.

I worried… this is some guy I’ve just met, and I’m weird about things in public. How is it going to be in my home city, walking around in daylight with this guy…. I hope he doesn’t hold my hand.

There in his kitchen I could kiss him passionately and hold his body against mine and think of how lovely his dick was, the first time in ages I’ve come across one with a proper natural bush… nothing excessive, but definitely not trimmed. Just soft and springy and not intrusive like I would have expected. The last guy I was with had shaved his and it wasn’t pleasant…

But I didn’t want to go outside with him and have our intimacy on display. I guess my line about being weird in public wasn’t an excuse not to kiss him, but a legitimate issue for me.

I’ve always had it really, but then I usually don’t walk around with guys in daylight anyway. I usually just bring them home and kick them out.

And they very rarely ask me to go for lunch or anything, they would probably bring me home and kick me out too.

We got the bus into town together and he insisted on paying for the bus for me too.

We walked around, he chose a fairly pricey place and we sat down and ordered.

We had been talking about steak on the bus and so I had a steak sandwich, it wasn’t one of the most expensive things on the menu though, I wasn’t being as my mother would say “cheeky.” I watched him and thought about the things he said last night, and thought he doesn’t dress expensively, he doesn’t seem interested in money, but he clearly does come from money and he certainly has enough of it not to have to worry. He bought me lunch, we talked easily and lightly, and then he walked me to the train station where I finally got to treat him, because we went for a coffee and there was a minimum charge to use a card.

He said he wouldn’t make me awkward by kissing me goodbye but he’d be back in December to continue his studies (he’s doing a final year) and he’d love to see me again. “Don’t forget about me while I’m away…”

He said we could kiss like the french, one on each cheek, and he’d write to me sometimes.

At this point, I was a little bit smitten.

The sex was unreal, to start with, and the conversation was stimulating and positive and interesting. He gave me compliments, good ones. And he was generous and thoughtful… 

So there. He’s gone for nearly two months, but he’ll be back. 

I have no idea how much of my interest is because of the sex and… the possibility that he’s rich….

But it was a great night, a great afternoon, and I feel very unsure of myself now.

Also I have this strong suspicion that he’s completely lying to me about everything and it’s all a big massive play of some sort. Or that I’m just so damn bored right now and so unused to an intelligent, generous man, that I just totally got overeager.  

But that could be entirely because of the last guy I got all smitten with who was totally playing me. I’ll tell you about that guy soon. It’s a good story. I’m just too tired of typing now. 

But anyway. Whatever happens, or does not, guess what happened?

My dream came true. I got a man to buy me steak, and he didn’t even get in my pants because of it. He had already got in my pants then so the steak was not necessary. Result! 

And I’ve faced my fear of dating.

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Walk of shame: French First Edition

The walkof shame.

Jut got in the door. Metro home…urgh urgh urgh. Auto pilot.

Wat the fuck? Woke up all lazy and sensual stretching out against the warm body.

Mmmmm… My ass against his erection. Feeling myself round and curved and ohhh his warm hard dick…. His hands all over me

Mmmm ….

Wait, what the fuck?

Mmmm… his hands all over me.

Mmmm…. feeling utter laziness, waves of hangover and arousal and nothing to do wth who is in the bed beside me.

Wait, it’s not a bed. It’s a fold out sofa.

He’s….he’s this guy I met on a flatshare website and I met him for drinks last night wth a friend and I was sooooo not into him but still.

Mmm his fingers inside me, and I forgot thst the sex I love is with a guy who I kind of love and with a guy whose body I know and whose tastes I know.

Why am I in this sofa bed with this guy?

I ask him,how did I get here? He mumbles somthing.

I stretch out away from him but that feels less good than being against his body and it’s cold so I return to his warmth and we kiss but it’s a bad kiss, morning-y and bad breath (mine) and he smells so strongly of other man. He doesn’t smell bad just… like another man. Clean, but someone else.

I think about Antoine but it’s no use, Antoine isn’t here, Antoine doesn’t really give a crap about me.

Maybe this guy cares about me. Maybe he’s a cool guy, the best guy. I look at him but I’m not attracted to him.He evidently is attracted to me. That knowledge gives me a little kick of horniness and I’m all lazy-sexy against his body and oh what I wouldn’t do to have Antoine here beside me….

I murmer…. I have a boyfriend.

He kisses my neck.

I know.

You told me last night…

Oh really? I feel a little proud of my at least attempting to have a moral compass.

Yeah, he said, AFTER…

 

OH! Did we… did we have sex?

Yeah, you don’t remember?

No I’m so sorry, I was really drunk.

You didn’t seem so drunk last night…

Again, slightly proud of myself for at least seeming to hold my shit together while blacking out. But maybe thts just because my personality is so fucked up you can’t tell when I’m drunk or sober. maybe…..

I let him feel me up some more and ask him was it any good? He doesn’t answer which isn’t great but he contnues to touch me and it feels good and after a while and me touching him too, out of politeness more than anything, he slips two fingers inside and then his mouth is on my nipple and I’m not faking anything or being polite, it’s good, it’s good, I want him to make lo…. I want him to fuck me. I want Antoine to fuck me but he isn’t there, this guy is there. I’ll call him Lucas. He’s there, he’s all over me and his dick is hard and solid and there and I think how there’s no way I’m putting that in my mouth and I ask him did we use a condom last night? And he says wow you really don’t remember? And he says it’s ok, yeah of course we did and then I relax again and touch him and it surges, I want to show him how good I am at sex, I’m too lazy to do anything good with my hands and Idon’t know him anyway, I want to show him where I’m great… I feel a little sadness about Antoine bt fuck Antoine he isn’t…givingme everything I want. I know this guy isn’t either….

We have morning sex and he does all the right things, all the things Antoine does with me but it’s not the same, it’s nothing compared to that.

He fucks me and I make the sort of noises I make with Antoine but they echo out of me like polite sounds in conversation to show you’re listening. I’m not listening, I’m not there, I’m looking through the mirror. It looks like what I do with Antoine, it looks the same, I look the same but it’s cold and I don’t care and I guess it feels good but just physically.

Get dressed, find my clothes strewn all over and far apart.

Some girls might wake up in this situation and think, was I spiked?

But not me.

I know I’m verrry capable of getting myself into this position sheerly by refusing to accept that I am not a good drinker.

Last night the bar had a minimum of 8 euro to use a credit card, so I bought myself double whiskeys and knocked them back to impress everyone. I don’t think I impressed anyone.

Walk of shame in the snow… I guess it snowed last night… just a light powdering but enough to make the walk slow, with him, on his way to work and showing me to the metro. It’s 9am, I have pure hangover face and sex hair and I feel like a giant piece of shit walking down the street and talking English, I gave up on French at some point in the night. Maybe he was sexy in French, but not now in bad English.

I remember getting ready to go out, I had his facebook but there were no good pictures, his profile was kind of unclear whether he was hot or not. I got dressed up nice but fairly casual, and I thought maybe this guy is cool and hot and maybe I’ll flirt with him or just make a new friend. I wanted to lash back at Antoine for making me feel so intensely again and then dropping off the map. He hasn’t disappeared- he just doesn’t do love like I do.

We spent a few glorious days together recently, made love all day and all night and it all grew stronger and stronger and when he was in me and his face kissing my neck hungrily and my arms pulling him in, in, in, the closest we could be, it welled up inside me like the tears you want to cry, but can’t, when you finally get home after holding them in all day.

It hurt and it felt like the best thing in the world.

It hurts when I don’t hear from him. He doesn’t write frequently.

It hurts when I hear from him because I want to see him.

It hurts when I see him because I want to touch him.

When I touch him it hurts because I want to be with him together making love and coming together, but I don’t want it to end.

And it hurts when he is inside me because there’s nowhere else to go, that’s the peak… I want him closer, further, rougher, gentler, faster, slower, I want him kissing my mouth and I want his mouth on my breast. I want to eat his cock but I want to kiss him tenderly at the same time and have him make love to me at the same time. I want more, always more. And then it’s over and I’m at peace for like 10 minutes and then the pain starts again.

Maybe this is my body telling me I should be having group sex.

I don’t know.

Anyway we lay together and stroked each others necks, faces, bodies and kissed gently and murmured things and he said I think I love you, and I said I think I love you too… and I didn’t mean it when I said it because I know neither of us loves the other. We’re selfish, we just love the feeling and don’t want it to stop. We don’t give a shit about each other really. He doesn’t care, he doesn’t NEED to speak to me. When we’re apart I miss him and he misses me but he’s defeatist about it. We can’t be together all the time, so let’s just be together when we are and the rest of the time what’s the point in saying I miss you etc… I’m not like that. I want… I need constant reasurance. I want to know that he’s thinking of me too. And he doesn’t tell me.

When we’re together I can’t doubt for a second that it’s amazing and great but every time he leaves I don’t fucking hear a word from him unless it’s practical information about when we will see each other again. It drives me crazy. I want the notebook, I want the vow, I want a Nicholas Sparks movie guy who writes to me even if I don’t write back, who builds me a motherfucking house even when I clearly expressed my disinterest. I want someone putting themselves out there for me again and again and not fucking stopping just because they feel sure of me.

Cunt.

I’m very angry with him for being like this. That’s why I slept with that other guy, it was my typical secret revenge fuck. I always try to put myself out of my current love’s reach when they pull away or betray me or just disillusion me somehow. Like I want to say a silent fuck you, if you don’t treat me really really well then I won’t be loyal, but maybe I could just be a bit harder to get instead of having sex with gross strangers.

Ah he wasn’t really gross, I’m just feeling icky because I don’t want to sleep with anyone else and it was a shit revenge anyway because Antoine doesn’t know and if he did know it wouldn’t do me any favours.

Balls.

I’m so bad at this.

I’m so fucking hopeless, I’m too passionate and intense to be with someone who is so fucking clueless and selfish with himself. He doesn’t know what love is and I sit here waiting for it like a dog waiting for the mother of the house to come home.

I was coming here for adventure and hope and new things and I’m stuck in some shit that I know is bad for me and I just don’t want to pull myself out of it, because it feels good and I’m afraid if I go out into the world alone and demand to be treated wonderfully, I’ll just be alone all the time.

And my French has kind of hit a plateau, too.

I need to get a job.

And stop drinking so much.

And get over the hangover guilt (This happened on Thursday night, I just wrote the beginning before the self loathing became too great so I finished it today)

Consider the new year christened

Christmas wasn’t the best.

But there was new year.

Antoine invited me to spend it with his friends in his small hometown about 2 hours away. I wasn’t sure about it.. I wanted to see him, fuck I wanted to feel him, but I didn’t want to get a train to hang on his arm, to meet a bunch of younger people who wouldn’t believe I just came here on my own and by coincidence found myself right next to him. But my friends had mostly gone home or gone away for the holidays and of course I wanted to see him.

I knew as soon as he invited me, that I’d be there with him at midnight feeling weak and conflicted but that I’d be there.

I made myself consider it, consider my options, mull it over, although the decision was made as soon as he asked.

I took the train on the 31st and a bus after that. I snuck a peek of my face in my hand mirror, embarassed to be checking myself out in public. Because I felt insecure and inadequate, and the other passengers would surely know. I looked tired from all the Christmas drinking, bloated from all the eating, and I had a couple of little spots on my chin because I would be getting my period (hopefully not tooo soon)

I felt pathetic, 25 years old, a marriage behind me, travels and jobs and parties and wilderness and so much trial and error, all leading to this, following a younger guy back to his parents’ town, to spend the new year of my new life in someone else’s world with someone else’s friends.

I got off the bus and my skirt was short for a small town (short for France, even) and a young, attractive black guy at the bus stop looked me over and drew in a whistling breath through his teeth and said Ooh, la la… and something like mon dieu. I looked away embarassed about my skirt but grateful for any kind of boost…

And I saw Antoine in the distance, walking towards me all lazy confidence, limping a bit because he twisted his ankle recently. He kissed me and said I’m so happy you came. I missed you.

He showed me around his town, immune to the clusters of drunk creeps, because he grew up a tall man, so he doesn’t feel the same sense of danger or intimidation that I do. Walked right into a group of these guys to show me the view of the river and the town perched romantically on its banks. The guys started saying stuff to us, he answered, they were clearly very interested in me and if I had been with anyone less tall and French I would have been scared. He answered them and they asked me something and I didn’t really understand so I just said I don’t speak French. They threw a few more jocular comments his way, I think they were complimenting him on his slutty looking foreign acquisition, but maybe I’m just being paranoid-egotistical.

He has no idea of the danger-filter I see the world through.

We left and walked elsewhere, and then drove back to his place.

There was nobody there, the house was empty, everything was built big and tasteful. He showed me his childhood photos on the walls without embarassment. He showed me his brothers and sisters, he poured me a glass of cognac and told me we could drink it up in his bedroom “not to do anything… but because we can smoke there”

I thought the prefix “not to do anything” kind of idiotic, because we have made love so many times and of course we were going to do it again, and again, and again, so I was hardly going to accuse him of moving too fast. But that’s what he’s like. He hates the distasteful, the tacky, the vulgar. I love vulgarity, but I guess I do also appreciate the lack of it in a man.

We went upstairs and drank the cognac and put on some music and then we made love and I thought every time is different, every time it gets somehow better. What I love is that when he comes he doesn’t turn aggressive, not even for a second. He thrusts more violently, faster, harder, sure, but all the while he kisses my neck, my face, so gently and so tenderly. Even if I don’t come too…….. it feels perfect. Afterwards he kisses and kisses me, and I couldn’t imagine any words telling me more about love than those times together.

There was one thing lacking when we were together in Ireland. He wasn’t really comfortable with oral. He tried a few times but I didn’t get a feeling of him actually wanting to do it, so I would pull him back up… I couldn’t relax if I didn’t think it was really an expression of passion or desire. But this time…. well, either he’s had some practice elsewhere (don’t really want to think about that) or else he’s made a conscious decision to do it… or maybe he’s just grown more comfortable with me.

Either way, it was perfect.

He asked me what I was going to wear, which was odd for me because men don’t usually seem to consider or take an interest in the process of getting dressed. They usually watch, bemused, as I fling outfits around scowling and cursing my lack of black high heels or how I just don’t have anything to wear. I showed him one dress, a short one with a sexy lace back. Maybe a bit too slutty for meeting his friends? He ran his hands over my body and kissed me and I sucked in my stomach because that dress is a bit unforgiving. Then I showed him another dress, a more grown up dress, classier. He told me he liked the first, hotter one better but it’s my choice. I wore the first dress.

He brought a big mirror into the room for me to use. His younger brother came home for a while and I was introduced to my first member of his family. Then he left and we made love again and took a shower together. He always wants to shower together, and he wanted to fuck me in the shower which I guess he’s never done so he doesn’t know how disappointing it is. He’s too tall, though, so we couldn’t. There was a plastic step in the bathroom that we considered using but I was afraid it would slip and he might not catch me with his bad ankle. I promised we’ll do it some time…

In the car he told me in his always carefuly chosen words, that he was proud to introduce me to his friends. Of course I couldn’t just take the sentiment, I had to say something stupid. So I said “oh, are they really cool friends?” and then I retracted it and said “sorry.. so you’re proud?” and he said yes, and I kissed his hand.

I felt sad because we both know it’s not going to last. Normally at this stage in a relationship, and actually I’ve never felt so passionately with anyone… not so consistently, anyway, but normally at the intense-passionate honeymoon part, you imagine it lasting forever or wanting it to anyway.

And fuck, I’m in love with his physical presence, with his body, with how he looks at me, with how he gets hard in a split second if I kiss him, how all he has to do is touch me and I want him, how we fit so well… I’m in love with waking up with him, with falling asleep touching as much of my body off as much of his. And then we both know it can’t last, it won’t last, and sooner or later there will be the pain again. If we take it day by day it’s beautiful, utter turmoil turned into complete peace. And then when I think of the day after and the week after and the month and year and where is it going, it hits me hard and I can’t bear it. Feeling like this should come with hope, enough hope to make it light and giddy. But it’s not light, it’s heavy around us. It’s not giddy, it’s serious, it’s finite. I lie on his chest afterwards and his heartbeat counts down to the last time I lie there.

And just when I wind the consequences, the strings of possibilities around in my mind trying to find an end to pull on…. his thumb is there tracing the line of my jaw and his eyes are soft and his lip between my teeth and all I can do is pull him to me, inside me, and there’s the peace again.

What do I do with that?

We spent new year together with his friends and I held my own, I was interesting and nice, I was funny and energetic, I drank champagne and was jealous when he spent so long talking to the girl with the massive cleavage but I held back and let him come to me, let him find me having a good time with other people, living up to his expectations, I hope.

At the end of the night he took my hand and we had our own room and the champagne and the desire from spending hours together but not alone, gave us a wild, brutal session. I woke up so sore and so much in love, and again and again and again. And back in his place we made love and showered and he packed a bag and we took the train together back to my place. My flatmate was gone as it turned out, for the next 3 days, but we didn’t know so we kept to my bedroom.

It was incredible. I had the best time of my life, in that bedroom. I didn’t imagine it could be stronger than before but fuck, I’m lost. He told me he didn’t know how long we would last, but it’s wonderful. I was sad but felt the same. The doom over it all and the openness we have about it, seems to have brought us closer. The sex is never the same, never dull, never boring. Even in my most passionate affairs before, there always came a time when I just wanted to guy to come already because I started to get bored or sore or feel disconnected from the rutting animal who took over from my lover. Or where he’d touch me and I’d feel nothing, and not be in the mood, or when I’d touch him and he’d say not now, we don’t have time before we go to the cinema/party… etc.

But not with Antoine. We spent 5 days together, condom wrappers like confetti in my bedroom. We went to the cinema and restaurant and I took him to my favorite wine bar and we wrote a nonsense story together on a scrap of paper in French and English, and he insisted on paying most of the time.

After 5 days I’m glad he’s gone to visit his friends now, and then back home, I need some time to myself but I wish he was here nonetheless. We didn’t get sick of each other, we didn’t wake up a single morning without being ready for more, we didn’t fall asleep a single night without it being a true collapse from exhaustion. In the 3 days we spent in my place, he lost 1.5 kilos and I lost 2 kilos.

If only he stayed 3 more days I would be back at my ideal weight.

And now I have to find a job, find an apartment… find one with a double bed.

And do something with all these fucking thoughts.

Vaginal Whiplash

Every boyfriend I have ever had, has made me fall in love… I fall in love pretty quickly and hard. Extremely hard. And then the full extent of my passionate, crazy, scary love gets too big. It takes over. I start to freak them out. They’re in love too, but, like… more chilled out love. The kind of love that isn’t really love, because it’s selfish and lazy and it can get scared off by passion.So then they run a mile. They make me feel like I’m this crazy stalker woman who will do anything for them (which, yeah, it’s not far off. I do get a bit crazy but they don’t even KNOW how crazy I get. They don’t have my internet history, they don’t know how many times a minute I refresh their facebook pages, how I lie awake at night worrying about whether we would disagree on child raising issues or what exact mesh of our features would work best on a male or female child.)

So they run or they freeze me out, knowing only the iceberg’s shiny hat of my true emotions. And then I DIE. I wail, I lie in bed worrying about the child raising issues that will never be, about what I did wrong, about what truths I should have kept hidden and how I could have shrugged more and been like, whatevs.

And then I heal, and I heal badly, because I keep picking at the scabs and that’s how you scar, which is why I am leaving my drunken knee injury ALONE. My legs are my fortune, you should know by now.

The knee has new pink skin on it today. Still delicate, but I can bend it now without going full on tourettes.

But my other injury.. my ahem… less badass injury… it has pink skin too.

Sorry I get really paranoid about using metaphors because I love using them but when other people do it I’m like, lame. Lame lazy and also, it’s very easy to equate things to each other and then make a point.

If you will permit me to continue…

The… and I’m loath to say heart…

The emotional injury.

That one is like… well it’s still not ready to be fallen on again. It’s not ready for me to lunge out into life shrieking and trying to kick people.

So what happened?

Sunday, I get a message from Antoine.

It was only a matter of time, but here he is, asking for another chance.

He had been torturing himself not knowing what to do, wanting to contact me, not sure what to say… ever since he learnt I was in France.

He said maybe I wouldn’t want to speak to him again, and he understood… but he wanted another chance to continue our story.

And all that hard work… gone. I stewed over it for a few hours and then replied a little coldly, saying I don’t know what to say but I am not going to talk on facebook, and if he wants to talk to me he can call me.

He called me, we talked, I was standoffish and wary, he wasn’t really promising anything but he wanted to see me.

I said I’d think about it.

OF COURSE I WANT TO SEE YOU YOU STUPID ASSHOLE.

But I have learnt something about caution, I think. Maybe.

So I let it be for a few more hours. That’s not much in human time but in Abby time that’s like months.

Eventually wine and self loathing got the better of me as they are wont to do…

and I wrote to him, just asking why he changed his mind? Why now? Why, after what he said in that final horrible conversation? Why would he want to see me again now?

And he told me it all happened so fast. He didn’t know what to do. He thought there was no choice but to end things, but now I’m here and maybe I don’t want to see him again but he wants a chance, and if I can trust him again, could I let him back into my life, could I let him love me? He said he knew I was a rare person and he didn’t want to give that up. He would come if I wanted, he could be with me in 2 hours.

I had already completely melted by this time and was ready (I know, I know, I’m an idiot) to open the door, physical and metaphorical and metaphorical relating to my physical (vagina) and cradle his head in my arms again and smell him and kiss him but NO I have grown a little bit of dignity also my best friend gave me strict instructions not to be nice to him for a while.

So I said hmm don’t know how I feel, I have to think about it, I don’t know if it’s a good idea, I’ve moved on etc.

Lots of bullshit of course.

And then he came.

He just came the next day, on a train, and he called and said he was here, he wasn’t trying to force me but he wanted to show he meant what he said, he was being spontaneous and fighting for what he wanted.

Oh my god it’s like the notebook except instead of building me a house while I marry someone else and then reading our story to me night after night while I don’t remember, he spent two hours on a train on one of his days off.

But still, totally romantic.

What a dick, I know.

I agreed to meet him,

I walked with him,

I had coffee with him.

We talked about our lives. Mine = really impressive right now. His = living with parents in a small town, working a few days a week.

I’m winning.

I looked at him, a stranger in my city but a master of the language. The tables have turned but he’s still on home ground.

He looked young again. He had lost the ease of talking english, after 3 months here.

His stammer was back, he doesn’t really have it unless he’s tired and stressed and having to speak English. Towards the end in Ireland he barely had it at all. It endeared me back in Ireland but now it made me sad for him because he was stressed and tired and I didn’t care about making him unstressed or putting him out of his misery. I didn’t care about him any more, and maybe I only ever cared about how his mood would impact our days and nights together.

It was a selfish thing, me and him.

Two selfish people, falling in love with our reflections in each others’ eyes.

But he didn’t look like my lover, he looked like someone else. He had different shoes.

He had a black shirt on and then he pulled out of a massive bag, a shirt he wanted to show me. My stomach knotted when I saw it and heard him ask my opinion. A red and black flannel shirt. Just like my husband had. It’s no big deal, it’s a fairly common shirt. But he wanted me to like it and I said it was nice, and then when we were leaving the cafe he said wait, I have to change my coat.

Why? Are you cold?

No, I want to wear this shirt (the flannel one) but not with this jacket. He was wearing a khaki jacket.

He pulled a spare coat out of his overnight bag and I tried to examine how I felt about a man who carries a spare coat in case he wants to wear a different coloured shirt.

I guess I had no feeling about it, I always liked how he dressed so I can’t complain if some thought went into it.

But gay.

A little bit gay.

That’s what the part of me who wanted him to fuck off and leave me to enjoy my independence, wanted me to think.

We walked down by the river and I knew more or less where we were going but my knowledge of the city wasn’t enough to be proud of, really.

I told him stories of my nights out here, I named friends, I named male and female friends. He was impressed. In one month you have made a lot of friends… that’s really impressive. Ah. I’m impressive, man. It might have taken you a few months to realise it but most people are quite happy to have me in their lives, you arrogant cunt.

The general feeling as we walked along, was… for me… a feeling of distance, of forcing something dead between us, just because we’re both a bit lonely. Forcing something that maybe wasn’t anything anyway.

Interspersed with anger and a desire to say something cruel to hurt him.

I never loved you.

I fucked other people when we were together.

I just met with you to end things nicely, I have a new French boyfriend called Jean Pierre now, he’s tall too, and he has a proper beard and he makes me come just by looking at my nipples.

I knew we didn’t have much to do in the city. It was just walking and he had a big bag with him because he wanted to buy some clothes while he was in the city as his town sucks.

We walked some more and then we went for another coffee.

He ordered for me, a coffee with lots of sweet cream. It was good, we sat and looked at our coffees as a huge greyhound watched us and then put its forelegs up on the bar and stood there expectantly until the bar owner yelled at it.

We both looked at the greyhound in silence before one of us made a comment about the dog and then there was a silence and then a few minutes later, the other person said something similar.

And then I looked at him and he was sad, and he said are we ready now, to talk about us?

And I thought then, no, no I’m not, I don’t know why I met you. I don’t feel like I love you, I don’t feel like kissing you. You’re a stranger but you’re worse because you hurt me.

I said, I don’t know how I feel.

And he looked so sad and lonely, a part of me cared about his feelings then and I reached out and touched his hand and I do love him, I do love him, his hand was electric and clammy and big and I looked at his eyes and they were the eyes that gazed up at me from my navel and they were the eyes that left me at the airport and that seemed to ask a question every time we came together.

And I wanted him, and I knew him again and again we were us.

He stroked my hand and his face looked sadder than any tears.

I wanted him to be happy then. I wanted to tell him I still wanted him, that all I wanted was to kiss him and hold him and tell him… but no.

I stroked his hand back and felt how clammy it was and I said I didn’t know but that I did still feel something, but I don’t know…

And he said he understood… it was understandable.. he didn’t expect…

He wanted to kiss me, but he wasn’t a guy who kisses in cafes.

Me neither.

He stroked my hand up to my wrist, and along my arm a little.

Sparks flew.

How does he have this effect on me?

I touched his arm too and wondered if it was the same for him.

He told me again, he wanted to kiss me.

My insides were mush…

I’m not kissing you in this cafe.

And I’m not taking you back to my place.

Where… he asked

Well, I said, I could take you where I normally go to kiss guys…

He smiled weakly.

Let’s just go for a walk.

We left the cafe and it was torrential rain.

I wanted to press against him in the rain, I wanted to kiss him and I wanted his tongue in my mouth and his hands firmly everywhere but I felt like he had to make all the moves. I couldn’t jump on him…

Well, I said, I guess we do have to go to my place until it stops raining. We took the metro and I felt like I held the reins again. I knew where I was going. We didn’t touch.

We dashed through monsoon and into the building. The tiny lift seemed like a joke for him. He’s so tall, I had forgotten how tall he was. I warned him my lift makes a scary noise and drops a tiny bit… it always does that.

He nodded but jumped when it happened. I used to be scared of lifts, he told me.

So did I. But I guess I’m more scared of excercise, so I got over it…

Inside my apartment and the seconds inched forwards. I hoped my flatmate wasn’t home. The cool swedish girl has gone home now and damn I miss her, she was awesome. I still have the weird, hermitlike French girl.

She’s always home, but sometimes she isn’t.

I hoped she wouldn’t be home, but she was. She was on the couch watching tv. I said hi in French and told her, it’s raining.

She nodded and then saw Antoine, and shrieked.

I was like, sorry, it’s… raining… we… it’s raining. This is my flatmate, this is Antoine… eh.

She pointed at her seemingly normal sweatpants and t shirt and said they were her pyjamas and she was embarassed. I have honestly never seen her wearing anything other than sweatpants and a t shirt or hoodie so I don’t know what the problem was, but I apologised again.

We went into my bedroom and left the door open out of… embarassment?

Flatmate ran into her room and I guessed she would stay in there, so Antoine and I took off our wet boots and coats and in a surge of motherly feelings I put his coat on the radiator so it would be dry for him.

We sat on the bed and he held my hand and I touched his face and we kissed and it was like it always was, passionate, beautiful, tender…

We kissed like starving people finding food.

We touched each other respectfully, tentatively, face, hands, arms, neck, shoulders.

I wanted to cry or tell him I loved him but I held back.

He murmured my name into my neck and said, before this gets any further… do you have what we will need?

I said no, I just have those horrible coloured fruit ones.

Did you not bring any?

He shook his head and I kissed him hard on the lips.

I love that you didn’t bring any. I hate that we don’t have any but I really love that you didn’t bring any.

He said, of course.

We kissed for ages and then we went to the supermarket to get condoms, food, wine, cheese.

We landed in my bedroom again and put on music, the music we used to listen to, and we fell into the sex and it was sad and beautiful and hot and sexy and loving and intimate. It was wonderful. He came quite soon, his face contorted like he was in pain, and afterwards he lay gently on my and kissed me in little nips on my face and neck and after every little kiss there was another kiss, like he couldn’t kiss me enough, and each kiss occured to him singly.

I stroked his head and thought how much I love this man. Not him-

Not the whole man. But this man, the man who makes love to me and then lies inside me with little kisses.

 

I made dinner and I thought it would be really good but it wasn’t great. He told me it was good. We drank wine and watched a tv show and drank wine and smoked and talked and laughed and we made love again and it was amazing and different and so fucking hot.

I only have a single bed and he’s too tall for the bed so I put the tiny matress on the ground and we tried to sleep that way, unused to each others’ bodies after so long…

Gently happy in the novelty of each other, but too conscious of it to drift off. It was a restless, bad sleep but I didn’t care because every time I woke up I woke up with my nose under his chin, or his arm around my sweaty neck, or his hand gingerly encasing my fingers.

I kissed him sleeping and when my alarm went off for school I was too tired to get up and I didn’t want to get up, and we had coffee and breakfast and made love again and then had separate showers and went to the city centre.

He was free until Wednesday (today) but I was wary and I told him it was too much, too soon, and I was going out with friends on Tuesday night. So he went home on tuesday and I went out with my girlfriends.

I wanted to spend another night with him, of course I did, but I’m not going to be 100% stupid. I need to protect myself a little bit.

He said he wanted to see me again soon, and we said maybe the first few days in January we could do something.

I don’t know if this is a mutual desire to take things slow or was he just being respectful of the lies I told him, and trying to act like he didn’t want to see me too soon again either.

You know what I’m like, I’d see him again today if I could

And yet, the little niggling things are still there.

Things about him…

He’s not a man who will give me anything. He has nothing to offer me, except absolute fucking euphoria.

He won’t look after me and he probably doesn’t even WANT to.

He won’t support me, he won’t care… he’s not going to be there for me. He can’t be. And he has so much stuff to do, young person stuff… before he’s ready to be where I am.

I’m not wanting to settle down right now either but I’ve done all my truly stupid and crazy things, the on purpose ones anyway. He hasn’t. He wants to go hitching around south america with a fucking typewriter. I want to stay in one place albeit in a foreign country on my own, and type in comfort on my top of the range computer. I may be a total fucking mess of a person but I am at least a bit of a grown up, in some ways.

And oh, it’s not fair, because the sex is un fucking real. I’m not saying it’s like we’re these amazingly accomplished sex people, but together… it feels so fucking good. Just the way it feels when his fingers touch mine… is more than I’ve had with most people.

So I’m not sure where this can go, what I can do with it, and what’s more stupid, continuing pretending I can have a casual relationship with someone I have that kind of attraction to, or continuing to pretend I can have no kind of relationship at all and move on without something actually unforgivable to go down.

Meh.

I’m very tired now, I drank a lot of wine while writing this.

And I need to pee.

Your thoughts on my folly are as always, appreciated.

Le Fear, part un

So I got off to a good start. Promising. Lots of fellow students of the beautiful language, all friendly, mostly fellow alcohol enthusiasts. Going out to bars and clubs every other night, and alllll weeekend.

Positive start. Of course today is the shit-encrusted tail of my 3 day weekend, so I’m feeling…. not so great. Still not down on France, oh no, France is awesome. France is fucking awesome.

FRANCE is awesome, but I am a hung over, snivelling, weak, binge drinking, sex- crazed, self-centred excuse for a woman and my legs are hairy and I have really bad sex hair BUT I have not had sex in several weeks now, and I’m feeling very unattractive.

The people I know here are all students and tourists like me but not so embarassed about the tourist label, so they are constantly taking photos of everything and handing their cameras to each other to ensure each person has a copy of the complete series of moments witnessed that day, and I keep seeing photos of me and thinking, oh yeah…. yeah… I’m not a good looking person, I just thought I was for a while because if I look straight ahead in the mirror I look good but somehow the exact position in which my face looks pretty only comes out when I am looking in a mirror.

There was a video of me talking in Swedish (I learnt one phrase and repeated it enthusiastically for three nights in a row. People are still inviting me out… nice) from the weekend and I just… can’t believe… that people are taking me seriously with such odd, inhuman facial movements. I look ridiculous when I talk. No wonder men flee and my ex boyfriends accidentally add me on facebook and then apologise for it and tell me they don’t care if I delete them.

Ah….

Here we arrive at what’s actually bother me.

So Antoine…. Antoine doesn’t say shit to me for three months and I move on and I’m like, so over that buster, I’m good, I’m moving to the country he lives in BUT I can say with utter sincerity and complete lack of denial that I am not intending to ever see him again, and if he contacts me again, I’ll be like, sorry bro, that ship has set sail and sunk and I got the only lifeboat and now I’m living a simple life on a beautiful island and there’s also a topless male only tribe living on the island and they all fuck me whenever I want and they are super fit from building shelters for me all day and there are no stds on this island.

BUT while I was not actually deluding myself one tiny bit, welll… I wasn’t really prepared for what would happen last week.

Last week I got a friendship request from him, the scrub who can’t get no love from me.

I was actually in the middle of accepting a plethora of friend requests (sorry can’t write this without smirking. I’m actually getting a smirk wrinkle on one side of my mouth only. Maybe I told you this already?)

So I’m mass-clicking yes to my new scool posse, and without really registering the name I clicked yes to Antoine. Again, this is actually not his real name of course.

So when I realised what had happened my weak, squishy, totally unprotected lady brain (and parts) went into hysterical overdrive. Incidentally, “hysteria” comes from the word for womb.. something about our stupid wombs causing everything. Also, interesting side note on a side note, google female hysteria and you will find some very interesting info about the origin of the vibrator. Ok back to the original tangent…

I went crazy. Did he want to see me? Did he know I’m in France… has he been waiting… does he miss me like crazy? Does he…. think he is ready to not be a dick and just go back to having the best sex either of us ever….

that sort of thing.

Not “fuck him, how dare he…”

Not “that’s a terrible idea, I should just tell him it’s nice to hear from him, I’m well, he’s well, good, good, and cut it off there.”

Nope. Square one, bitches.

Later he wrote to me asking how I was finding France and saying it’s weird I live so close, and I didn’t know how the fuck to take that… I just exchanged very cold pleasantries and then said g’luck with everything. The end.

Happy with myself for cutting off the convo, I so couldn’t take any more shit with him.

But I couldn’t rest.

Why did he contact me? Why did he contact me if he was just going to say stiff, boring things? He didn’t seem like he would contact me again, it didn’t seem like something he would do…. especially knowing how convinced he was that I was like soooo in love with him. And yeah I guess he was right there, I totally was… or my reaction now would have been more “meh” and less “gotta get my legs waxed in case this boy who broke my heart catches a glimpse of unsightly follicle when he says jump and I go to do the splits mid-air”

Course I couldn’t just be a good girl and play the silence game, so today, full fear and hangover and conviction that every person who is friends with me is probably just hanging out with me for some kind of dare, and every man who kisses me or calls me sexy is just doing it cause I give good head, and then maybe I don’t even give good head and men just like to humiliate me…..

I wrote to him asking why did he add me? I just said it was surprising.

He answered that he was looking at my profile to see if I did come to France after all, and accidentally must have clicked on add friend, and he only realised when I accepted. He said he didn’t mind, it was nice to have good news from me, although it’s weird I live so close… if I wanted to delete him as a friend he would understand.

And that’s the end of that.

Goddammit.

What I even hoped for I do not know.

I just wish he hadn’t got in touch because I was doing so well, and now I’m hung over and I started drifting off into thoughts about him, yeah I’d fuck him again but first I’d be cold and distant, make him feel like I moved away somewhere, but then it would melt away and he’d hold me and stroke my neck down to between my breasts and he’d follow his hands with his eyes, doing everything carefully, every action the result of thinking about it first. I’d breathe hot onto his ear and feel him tense, and I’d reach his ear with my mouth and he’d quiver against me and we’d kiss and touch  where we know to touch, and he’d whisper I want you now.

I loved that sex so much. When I think about him it’s all sex. He brushed my hair once in the shower, he did it with concentration, slowly, in a way that was so impractical and naive it endeared me to him.

I liked our meals together, we enjoyed wine and cheese and we drank milk after sex and it was exactly the right drink for after sex. He told me he got this habit from his older sister’s ex, who he presumably watched as a gangly little boy, a glass of cold milk and an attitude of I just fucked your sister.

But I never think about our conversations. It was just sex but it was sex that completely took me over. And I guess I would have gone there again, I would have prostrated myself on the altar of who cares, this is a sturdy surface, fuck me on it.

But it’s not to be, and I’m not sad about it, I’m really just sad that I break and I heal but there’s still a great gaping crack where he can slip right back in any time he wants.

And yes, that phrase was entirely intentional, although mine is just great and not gaping.

Ahhh, the fear.

Makes me feel like utter scrotum about my looks, my personality, everything… at least it only lasts til Tuesday.

Tuesday my ego will be back in full swing.

Really, I’m in paradise. I just need to keep going out and meeting locals which isn’t so easy when you are in a big group of foreigners with shit French, but it’s not like Italy, it’s not like that… it’s good here. Patience, my sweets.

I have seen so many hot barmen, hot binmen, hot policemen, hot traffic light repairmen up on ladders, hot cheesy sandwich vendors (also hot sandwiches and cheesy vendors)

It’ll be fine.. just gotta get through the ridiculous self loathing festival I’m holding in my hung over brain. I spent most of the day eating microwave reheated empanadas and watching bad camera angle porn, I think tomorrow the simple act of leaving the apartment and socialising with my school buddies will help significantly. Although I’m also kind of happy to have a decent internet connection again so I can watch porn.

I’ll try to write something when I’m not in this kind of mental space so you get a less skewed idea of my sanity. I was really happy every other day since I got here. And I speak atrocious French BUT I made a French girlfriend in a bar last weekend and she’s willing to hang out and listen to me talking like a 2 year old but with more Anglophonic “R”s and “N”s.

So I’m gonna get there…

PATIENCE

I don’t have much patience because I’m so eager to get there already and speak awesome French and be made love to passionately by awesome French guys.

A plus tard, my sweets.

Also, I’m actually not going to move my blog, I’ll keep this one. I’ll just continue to drop “the pursuit of ‘appiness” into my writing as a glorious pun but I won’t change the title cause… fuck it.

xxx

Abby N Flicker

Fifty shades of cordon bleu

I spent ten days with my family soaking up whatever sun can pass through factor fifty, freaking out about the abundance of freckles on my face and feeling like the odd one out in my family of perfect accomplished tanned go getters. Goddammit. When I spend time with them I’m the albino gorilla, I’m the prodigal son… oh how different Abby might be if only she had learnt to play piano or volleyball or  gone to college or spent more of her childhood in the sun. They don’t say it… just.

My best friend joined us for the last few days.. way to rescue me from beach boredom. Had a lot of fun, until we got dressed up and I remembered why I don’t live in Italy, why I don’t fancy Italians and why I bought pepper spray. Eugh.

Not fun… well, just a little bit fun, because I had my biatch with me and of course it was pretty off the hook, regardless of the slimey greaseball Italian teenagers we encountered.

I was glad to leave though. On to France, to Bordeaux. To my lover….

I flew without fear, the second time I really nailed it, fuck you fear of flying, I am just a normal person now who doesn’t LIKE flying but the last couple of flights I have been so cool, no shaking fear, no commandeering both arm rests to grip  them tightly while mentally composing my eulogy.

I landed with a self satisfied smirk at how brilliant I deal with flying now. The girl next to me was white and panicked. SAP.

The airport was tiny, we walked about 50 metres from the plane and entered the baggage reclaim hall. Ahead of me those opaque glass doors sliding open for the crowd ahead of me. I ducked out of view… crap.

Suddenly the moment I have fantasized about for over a month, menaced me with its uncertainty.

Would he be standing there, too far…. would I have to do the walk-skip-keep composed while grinning furiously? The romantic reunion in front of the crowd, or would it be an awkward hello how was the flight is this your bag? While I accidentally go for a kiss and realise I’m just getting a hug?

And do I look ok? I had applied some makeup on the plane but I was up at 7 to catch two trains and maybe I look tired, drawn… my so called tan is just freckles, isn’t it? What if he liked me pale and alabaster, what if my sunkissed skin is too Irish and freckly.. did I trade my classy, elegant whiteness for a bad patchy shade darker? I think in panic of my bikini like, de-haired but so fucking white next to the thighs and pink belly… oh my pink belly….

I squint into my tiny hand mirror and think no, it’s ok… fuck it. Fuck it. I just have to do it. I swing out through the doors and don’t look at anyone, hoping at least to “spot” him as we are nearly beside each other, so there is less uncomfortable distance and idiotic smiling.

He’s not there. Oh oh… but my flight was late, he’s probably having a smoke outside. I turn left through the doors and there he is, sitting on the low wall, looking at me…

He looks young, oh so young… younger than I remember. He’s so tall and thin, his face is young and lost and hopeful. I reach him and smile shyly, not sure any more about anything… do I really have the most amazing sex of my life with this young man, do I love him, do I want him? Have I just followed something shiny because I couldn’t have it, has he been one of my conquests, have I pursued him to prove I could, have I fooled us both… does he love me?

And I reached him and his hand reached up to my face and he kissed me, tender but reserved, and doubt curdled in my belly and then I hugged him and dropped the handle of my suitcase and his arms were around me and he held me so tight and I kissed him tentatively on his cheek/jaw/neck and he breathed  heat onto my neck I missed you… and I said it too and it caught me, it caught up to me, the hug lit up between us and it was Dublin airport all over again.

Shyly he took my hand and I dragged my suitcase along, giddy with the confirmation of everything being right again.

We walked to his car, borrowed from his father. It was an oven inside… he turned on the engine and I sat beside him with my freckled knees showing and talked about everything and nothing, and he asked me would you like to go to the beach? And I didn’t want to go to the beach, no, I wanted to go to bed, to lie down with my lover and tell him how much I missed him with kisses and feel him swell up and want me again.

But I said sure, cool… let’s go to the beach.

We stopped at the exit from the car park and the machine was automatic. His card didn’t work so we tried mine, but that didn’t work either. It didn’t accept coins… the intercom guy told us we had to pay the parking inside the airport first. Oh. We drove back in circles, trying to find another space to park. Parked and walked back to the terminal. Hand in hand, our eyes flicking over to each other and smiles spreading contagiously. He stopped once or twice and pulled me to him and kissed me and murmured, you’re beautiful.

We paid in the terminal, again the machines wouldn’t take our cards but they accepted my last few coins. Back to the car, back to the exit. Ticket accepted… now DRIVE!

Away from the airport… He squeezed my hand and I babbled incessantly about my holidays, my family, my friends back in Ireland. I made myself ask him about himself. His work, his dissertation… his family. Living back at home. All the time I drank him in, his smell, and I loved him and loved him and loved him. I love you, I thought. I really do love you. I mentally formed the words but didn’t say them. We drove to a petrol station, it didn’t accept our cards again. PUTAIN!

I love it when you talk French. Say something in French…

He said something quickly and I understood… he said It was so hard when you left and I missed you a lot. I smiled, I don’t know if he thought I would understand that….I squeezed his hand and said moi aussi. Which was wrong so he laughed. I think it should have been je aussi. Me too.

We found another petrol station and this one accepted his card. It’s a little bit wrecked, that old bank card. Bent and cracked in places. They took his card and when he came back I thought great, let’s be off… I want to be free of these motorways and generic shops. I want patisseries and cafes and old men drinking pastis and striped shirted cyclists carrying baguettes in their wicker baskets. And mostly I wanted to be alone together where I could pounce on my chauffeur without endangering our lives, and eat him up and make him love me.

He slid into the driver’s seat again, and elegant folding of long limbs. He looked stressed, what’s wrong? I asked. He groaned… I forgot the lid of the gas tank at the other place. What? I took of the lid, and I must have left it on the car and it fell off. Oh. Shit. Damn this I just want to go now.

He drove back to the first petrol station and we couldn’t see it. I think it is green, he said. I scanned the road out my window. Nope. We drove away, and as we left I had a brief glimpse of something green on the road, right in a busy intersection. And we were gone before I registered, that might be it. Shit. Now it’s too late, isn’t it? If I tell him now, it’s like… why didn’t you just say there it is? Why didn’t I? I don’t know. But I kept my mouth shut. I guess maybe I didn’t want to sit there any longer while he found somewhere to park, circled back, left me alone and went to pick up the lid. I just wanted to go. I felt bad though…. A little reminder of how selfish love is, for me anyway.

We drove away, away from the motorways and concrete. A long, straight, two lane road lined with trees. Forests, he told me. Important woodlands for the timber industry. Ahh. Oooh. Roadsigns loomed warning us of deer crossing. I made stupid comments about doing some deer spotting. I made stupid comments about everything. Stop this Abby…. stop talking mindlessly. He’s a silent type, he’s going to think I’m an idiot. We held hands sometimes. In traffic he kissed me quickly and his eyes bored deep into me.

This is good, he said.. This desire we are creating…

I agreed but privately wanted to smack him over the head for this delayed gratification bullshit and make him pull over so I could go to town on him.

We drove for too long. We drove and drove and then we were in a bright, summery, well kept little town by the ocean. We parked a metre from the sand dunes and tripped down to the beach holding hands and looking forward to sitting in the sand and kissing properly. We sat on a towel… smiled quickly and he pulled me over, grabbed my bottom lip with his two and kissed me passionately. My arms fell around his shoulders and my hands caressed his neck. He’s beautiful. He’s beautiful. He fits me better than anyone, he slides around me and fills the spaces, he’s never uncomfortable, there’s never a spare limb, never a clash of teeth or a nose in the eye. He’s beautiful, I kiss him and kiss him and my chest overflows with love. He’s my prince, my young prince… I kiss him and he holds me close and I feel him breathe me in and gently hold the back of my head like I’m a baby, delicate.

We breathe together like this and I’m perfectly happy… with a touch of sexual frustration. We struggle to our feet and dip our toes in the water. It’s cold, the ocean… cold but not too cold. I thought it would be too cold… I picture myself in the water in my bikini, holding him semi naked in the cold water, my legs wrapped around him, the salt buoying me to fucking height. I could twine around his body and devour his face, and no one would see us from the beach because the sun is starting to set and they would probably just see a couple holding each other and kissing. I tell him we should get in. I’ll change into a bikini. He smiles with all his teeth and pulls up an edge of underwear and snaps it. Black lycra. Swimming trunks…. well, briefs I guess. There’s a flutter in my own underpants as I picture my hand reaching in there and pulling him out. I want to kiss his penis like it’s a tongue. I want his head lolling back and I want his hand on my hair. Oh I want him… I wonder how far the city is from this place? The airport was far but we messed around with a lot of petrol stations and shit.

We head back to the car and I take my bikini. I hope he likes it… I look good in this bikini, well, for me… I’m not a bikini person. I’ve never been “beach ready” but this year I am something close to it. Glass of wine first?

YES. As I realise the water is cold and alcohol will help.

Sit at a little table outside a bar-restaurant. Two glasses of wine. Two euros each glass. Lovely wine. Little pretzels on the table.

The sun sets behind him, sinking into the sea in a partially visible ball of fire. There are a few clouds just there so it’s not magnificent, but he says “it would have been too cheesy if the sunset was perfect.” We talk about our plans. I realise he isn’t still studying any more, just this dissertation and he’s finished his degree. He wants to do a masters but is going to leave it for a while. My heart sinks because that’s what made me feel like he had no choice about going home… the studying. He’s starting work as a teacher’s assistant and that’s something I know he wants to do, so I guess yeah he’s tied to France but not as strictly as I had thought.

I didn’t want to tell him my semi-plan on the first night as I have to find the right words so he doesn’t think I’m moving to France to be with him. In some way, yes I am… but I am doing it for myself too. I want to study a TEFL course here in Ireland over the next couple of months and then I’ll go to France. If he doesn’t want to be with me, or he’s just not willing to be in a relationship, whatever happens… heartbreak, but I know I will love France anyway. I’m tired of the parties in Ireland. Fun fun fun but too much, too often, too expensive, and too destroying. I want more elegance, more class, more good taste and manners, less howling and stumbling down streets and less fear on a Monday morning. I want fine wine and cheap wine, but not too much wine. I want cheese and bread and olive oil, I want to throw open shutters in the morning, let a pale yellow light flood my home and write amongst coffee and crumbs. I want a French man to make love to me. I want it to be this Frenchman but I’m open to interviewing replacements if it’s too much for him, too much passion and intensity for his first relationship.

I could find another Frenchman to swoon at.. just… let me love this one a little bit more. I want him to want the same thing I want, but I don’t know what that is yet. I have a flimsy image of us sharing weekends in the city, working and living our lives during the week and coming together Friday in glorious hedonism and enjoy each other for three days, regular but not suffocating. But I can’t tell him this because he’ll think this is my plan, my real plan, and I’m waiting for a YES LET’S BE TOGETHER WHEN YOU COME HERE. I’m not, I just want a “yeah that would be cool… let’s see what happens.”

Maybe. Maybe I’m bullshitting myself.

So I tell him I want to do the TEFL course, that I’m saving money, that I think I’d like to try France and I want to learn French but I don’t know what part of France yet. It’s true. He thinks it’s a good idea. I’m obviously not happy in Ireland. I tell him my dad’s take on the subject:

“You didn’t like Italy, you don’t like Ireland… if you don’t like France you know where you should go? THE PSYCHOLOGIST.”

Ha ha. Maybe he’s right, but I think I could try a couple more places before I can be considered jaded.

Antoine says he wants to travel. He feels the same sometimes, maybe he is looking for something that doesn’t exist. But he wants to work in France for two years, then travel… hitchhiking across the globe. I feel a twinge of annoyance. Like it’s a personal rejection of me. Dismiss the idea. Not everything is about me… I think his idea is swell. I tell him go for it, but I mean NO DON’T GO TO THOSE STUPID PlACES… it’s all here, what you need, here with me… but I’m jealous too, because I can’t hitchhike around the world staying in random houses, it’s just too dangerous. The height of it for me would be to couchsurf, I casually think I might do that some time but I’ll still freak out that maybe I’ll get a creep….

I tell him I want a new adventure, I want to write. I want him to know that I have a life I want to lead and I’m not hanging around waiting for his invitation. He leans in as we finish our wine. Looks sincerely in my eyes.

He says, “I know you’re gonna do it.. I know you’ll do something great. You make all these tough choices and you keep trying… you will do something great, I know it.”

I feel like crying. I don’t want to do anything great, anything, anything. I just want him to wrap me up in his arms and plug the hollowness that keeps creeping back in my chest. I want promises and kisses and I want him to lay me down and remove my meticulously chosen dress and peel down my knickers and kiss me there, and not notice the awful white triangle with the red bumps from the ingrown hairs, and just notice how non-hairy it is for a change.  I don’t care about learning french or writing books or teaching English or having friends or doing anything all I want is this man inside me. It’s crazy, why does he make me feel this way? Why does lying down with someone, touching them, looking at their eyes, why does that make me happy? Why am I always a little bit lonely, a little bit yearning for something that feels impossible, until I feel his face against mine, nuzzling and breathing, kissing and sucking. Why is this something I want? Why do I feel so peaceful in his arms, like nothing matters, like nothing can go wrong. He’s nobody, he’s a man I met and he’s smart and sweet and generous and polite, and funny and gentle and passionate and romantic. But I’m in love with him and nothing but being with him, totally and completely, fused together in an embrace, nothing else will make me happy.

I want to tell him I love him but I know it’s something we aren’t going to say. Maybe not until tomorrow, or maybe not at all. We walk back to the beach and I change into my bikini awkwardly, under my dress. I boasted I could do this ninja underwear change because of PE (phys ed) changing rooms as a teenager (and not wanting other girls to know how weird my nipples looked when they weren’t erect) But I changed awkwardly, and when I finally was ready, bikini under dress, I realised he had miraculously changed trousers without my noticing. Oh. Ok. A better ninja.

We ran down the beach. The sun was still behind clouds, hovering over the horizon. Red light behind the clouds. Waves crashing on the shore. I whipped off my dress and he took off his trousers. My belly seemed more bloated, suddenly. I wasn’t feeling so cocky any more. He was slim but had put on a little bit of weight. Tanned, he looked good. His legs were brown up to shorts height… and under his shorts was the part of him I use to love him. I couldn’t wait to take it in my hand and look up at him and for it to be that time…

We ran into the sea and it was cold. Up to our shins was too cold so I decided to pretend to be a daring, life-living, day seizing individual and I just dunked my body in, and as I crouched into the water I was drenched in cold, cold saltiness but it wasn’t so bad, it was a nice shock. He followed my lead but better, he went underwater. I didn’t want to mess up my eye makeup.

And the waves were suddenly high. We were standing up to our thighs, I needed to pee I realised. But the waves were breaking on us, up to our shoulders. Up to my shoulders, his ribs. I wanted to pee and we were standing far enough from each other, I knew I could do it. I just needed to get a little deeper…. But a wave was coming, a big one. So big, this close to the shore. We were 20 metres from the shore. He yelled get down but I didn’t get down, and the wave battered me, pumelled me, dragged my bikini bottoms to one side. I started to tighten the strings but I realised I was at the right depth to pee. I released a tentative stream of pee while re-tying my bottoms, but he started to wade towards me. Ack! I might be discovered, my filthy juvenile sea-peeing. I waded back a bit, away from him, unable to stop the stream of pee. He looked at me like why are you running away? And then another huge wave broke, and again I didn’t get down because I was tying my bottoms. The wave jolted me forwards, stung my eyes, stung up my nose. I spluttered and realised it had also dragged my bikini top down to my waist, and the bottoms down to my ankles. My pee was startled into submission and I clutched my bikini to me… retying furiously as another monster loomed. Antoine told me come further in, the waves are worse here at the shore. But I was panicking, it was too deep with the waves. I’m not a good swimmer… I’m not a good swimmer. I’m here, he said. I’ll take care of you. But I had my bikini to sort out and it was scary, the waves one after the other, mercilessly battering me and dragging my clothes from me. He came to me when he saw the fear and he held me in his arms and I hoped he didn’t have an impossible pee detecting sense but of course the waves had already dispersed my pee, he would never know. Maybe he peed too….

He held me all wet and cold and kissed me saltily. I just wanted to leave with him, back to warm and dry. But I didn’t want to seem like a pussy. But  was too freaked out. I garbled my excuses, not good at swimming… not used to the waves… scared of drowning… not enjoying the forced nudity… and he wanted to stay in and maybe he was thinking of fucking standing up in the salt water, but I couldn’t stay in I was too scared of the salt in my nose and eyes. So we sloshed out defeated, more waves to dodge and surfers to be ashamed in front of. He wrapped a towel around me although I wasn’t cold. From the beach the sea looked beautiful and it was beautiful. I wished I had stayed in, the sea felt amazing, and I needed to finish that pee that was interupted. But it was scary. He rubbed me with the towel and then I took his towel and wrapped it around him. He pulled it over his head, a blue towel, and I laughed and said he looked like the virgin Mary.

He said really, but actually you know I’m not a virgin…

And it was the first allusion to our magical sexual relationship since he left me in Ireland. I grinned.

“really? Did we have sex?”

“You don’t remember?”

“Ah I must have been drunk..”

We kissed and his hand pulled my face closer, owning my face. His lips forced my upper lip into his mouth and he kissed and bit it. I had his lower lip, the full one, always a little chapped… I sucked his lip, I squeezed him with all my limbs and then tore my mouth away from his, kissing his jawline, nipping his skin, to his neck, I love his neck. My nose fits in there and it’s warm and tender. I breathe into him and he holds me, wet and sandy lovers on a beach in France, nothing like the environment we met in, but the feeling just the same, just lovely. I’m melting.

Another glass of wine? Some food? Or back to the apartment?

I just want to get you home, I say. Apartment. I’m not hungry…. I bite him again. I can’t have ever wanted anyone as much as I want him. I try to remember how I saw him earlier, at the airport… sitting on that wall, looking like a lost boy. He doesn’t look like that now. It’s his character, the way he acts, the way he drives, the way he kisses me, the way he  talks… they fill in his face, they make him a man.

Ok it’s about an hour though. And it might be tough to find parking… I am filled with rage. Why did we come to the fucking beach, I just need to get him to a bed now… now… noww… but I know I’m glad we came to the beach, it was cool, it’s why I’m so ready for him now. But I wish there was a closer beach, or a closer apartment. Depressed, I slip into the car, throw on my dress over my wet  bikini. I sit watching the deer crossing signs and forcing myself not to make any more inane comments. He talks a bit, I talk a bit. We listen to music. I think about his penis. I can’t remember it very well… it’s lovely but I can’t remember what it’s like exactly. He tells me the road is boring to drive along, it’s so straight… people can fall asleep. I quip, but was actually serious,

“If you’re bored I could suck your penis for a while…”

He says no that’s probably not a good idea… haha.

I tell him just for safety, I don’t want him to fall asleep.

My half-joke-half-desperate plea for sex falls flat. I’m feeling grumpy and rejected. It takes AGES to get to Bordeaux.

Eventually we arrive but the only space outside the apartment is half on the footpath. It doesn’t look like you can park there… he might get a fine .At this point I couldn’t care less if he gets a fine, if the car is clamped, if it spontaneously combusts. I just want to get out, go upstairs, sit down and start touching hidden body parts. I make sympathetic noises and statements. He decides to risk getting a fine. We go upstairs and he opens the door.

It’s an old, bright, slightly messy apartment. Two medical students live here but are on holidays and are lending us the apartment… they are friends of a friend. They don’t know him or me…. pretty decent of them actually. He has made the bed up and there’s wine in the kitchen. We put on music and open wine and sit on the couch uncertainly. For a second.

And then fall on each other, kissing, whispering, Touching, stroking up under shirt and dress, running hands up legs, hand cradling back of neck, fingers through hair, mouths everywhere. He lies back on the couch and I fall after him, kissing and moaning. I am almost embarassed of how wet I am. He tries a finger… it’s ridiculous. I remember what I was waiting for all night and slip a hand inside his trousers. The fabric is soft and there is an opening at the front, they are kind of pyjamas really… He’s there, hard and smooth, curled underneath. I pull him out of the fabric he is caught in and he springs up.. I feel tenderness wash over me. He is his penis, it’s his delicate part of him…. the part of him I can concentrate my love on and he will feel the most. That’s what it is, it’s not a SEXUAL ORGAN, it’s an extension of the person you want… their avatar for sex, their vulnerable bit.

I lean over and kiss it and it tastes like the sea. I kiss it wetter again. He closes his eyes and tightens his grip on my arms. I kiss him again and again and then I stop because I want our first time to be closer than that. He pulls me up and takes my hand. Leads me to the bedroom and we collapse on the bed. Kissing and kissing. So lovely, so gentle.

I want him NOW. He murmers I want you, in my ear and it thrills me that we’re in sync like this. I bite hard where my mouth is, somewhere on his body, and I can hear a packet unwrapped beside me. It’s the plastic, he didn’t remove the plastic first. Rookie mistake, and sure enough it’s a few agonising moments before the condom has been isolated and I put it on him because we both know I am better at this because I have more experience…

He’s big and beautiful and he’s leaning over me, on his arms and knees, my legs closed between his. He looks at me full of fire and emotion and sweetness. I have been waiting for this moment for a month and a half. He kisses me and guides himself in. It’s the most incredible feeling, he’s so close to me. It’s a little painful at times… I cling to him, we rise and fall, we kiss like our mouths are also having sex. He wants me to come too… he feels around for my hand and brings it to me. I try but no, I just want to feel him. I don’t want to remove myself from the back and forth to try and come. So I tell him I just want to make love now, and I want him to come when he feels it… And I get on top of him for a bit and I grind onto him, and it feels so good. I’m full…

And finally we he turns me over but it’s not doggy style, which I don’t really like… I’m flat on my face and he’s flat on top of me. His body all over mine, his mouth behind my ear, his breath hot and his arm reaching around under me to touch my breast. He shudders into me again and again and it’s too hot, I can’t move and I love it. He nips my ear, kisses, pulls at me. And I feel something… I hear a snap or I feel it, but it feels too good, him inside me… I don’t stop him. He comes and I know the condom is broken. I think he knows too. He comes gigantically, mashing me into the mattress, gripping me with his whole body, and as he is tensest he lets go and moans into my sweat-drenched neck. He kisses me gently now, quietly. We pant and he hugs me and buries his face in my hair. A single last moan. That was incredible. Intense…

He lifts himself out and we sheepishly eye the broken condom bunched around the base of his cock… We both make some half admission of maybe noticing it happen but not being sure. It’ll be ok, we can get the morning after pill.

Now we can have sex without these fucking condoms…

I looked away and muttered, that’s not why we use condoms…

He said yeah but it’s already happened twice with us, that they have broken… so…

We smoke a cigarette, smiling at each other, drinking each other in. Holding hands and rubbing each others fingers. Kissing between drags… finishing the cigarettes and lying back down, kissing and touching, gazing at each other through the haze of emotion. He cups my face in his hands, those big strong hands. My skin against his skin. I shift forwards and feel him hard under my belly. Kiss with more urgency. Sucking his skin between my teeth. Reaching down and massaging him and his breath catches in his throat. Eyes closed. He’s so hard, so big and hard. I love your penis. My penis loves you too…

I move further up and I’m sitting on him on the low couch. I feel him strain up instinctively and I pull him up and into me and sit lower and he reaches to my buttocks and squeezes and my thighs and pulls me forward and back, we rock together more and more urgently. Sometimes his head jerks forward and he seizes a breast, pushes a nipple to his mouth, sucks, bites too hard, oh too hard. Then he lets go and clasps my back, tightens me to him and I shift my thighs and urge him on, squeeze him inside. He lifts me… we glance at the couch and decide on the bed.  Dart back to bed, he climbs onto me, he looks hungry, the hungriest I have seen. My legs over his shoulders and this time I touch myself and we come together, violently, disgustingly, beautifully, perfectly synchronised and I whisper I love you as he groans to the end and I don’t know if he heard me but I don’t care.  I love him so completely then, I want nothing, I’m at peace. He lies half on me half off and kisses me slowly, his thumb running over my freckles. I think cloudily about his body, his eyes, his face.

I wonder what  I look like to him. He has brown eyes and a slightly mournful expression in them. His lips chapped because they are full, and because I bit them very hard. His cheeks are not pudgy like mine. The bones sit just under the surface. An attractive skull…

I notice big pores on his cheeks. Wide pores… I wonder if he sees all my blackheads, all my facial hair. I get rid of my moustache and the ever growing beard hairs, but they are always back. I feel self conscious about a bit of a moustache that is about a week away from needing serious intervention. It’s ok… is it? I look at his pores and they seem oddly like part of why I’m attracted to him. I wonder does he love my defects too. I wish we were having a sweetheart’s conversation and not just smiling at each other. I ask him to tell me something. I want him to compliment me or tell me he loves me but I pretend I mean a fact, a story… something interesting. He  stares at me intensely and says sometimes you don’t need to talk to tell something. And I check the way he is looking at me for clues, and then it’s obvious what he’s saying, just what I’m thinking. He’s thinking I love you. He’s thinking I love you and I can practically hear it. I know why he doesn’t want to say it. I kiss him with as much love as I can…

We make love four more times that night and fall asleep in total happiness.

Waking up is perfect, his limbs warm and soft with mine, his face peaceful, together slowly realising awakeness. We kiss the chaste kiss of the unbrushed morning smoker teeth. He’s stirring, I’m still wet from last night. We make love again and come again, less violent, more contented. We lie together then he gets up and dresses, we have coffee and he goes to buy croissant.

I sit in this stranger’s apartment and listen to the sounds of France, the cars and shouts in my lover’s language, the slammed doors and barking dogs, probably poodles. I want to call my best friend to share my sexscapades but it’s too early. I giggle to myself about my lover going to buy croissants for breakfast. I think about Dylan Moran’s stand up about French people, naked from the waist down and padding around the apartment picking up croissant crumbs with their feet.

I stroke my belly which hurts… not my belly but something deeper. I’m sore inside, the sex was gentle but relentless. I’m raw and have something like period cramps. I wonder how it will be to buy the morning after pill in France. Embarassing… he’ll have to speak for me.

He comes back with two croissants, two delicious pain au chocolate and some juice. And the morning after pill. I love that he bought it for me. Saved the embarassment. The pharmacist insisted I come in person, but he refused. “It has just as much to do with me as it does with her.” She relented and sold it to him. I took the pill.

We drink coffee and eat and then smoke and shower together, intensely and slowly washing each other badly, just feeling the soap suds, nobody getting very clean. We leave the shower and make love again with a condom, careful this time and then again, and then I’m too sore to move but I still want more. He kisses me with questions in his eyes. He looks like he can’t believe it, how good this feels. We talk and make plans for the day. I want to see the city but I don’t care what we do…

Outside the car has a yellow fine tucked under the wiper. We wince but it’s only 15 euro.  There’s a proper space free now so he moves the car…

Walking around the city goofy with love. Holding hands and stopping to kiss. Lunch with wine, delicious and simple. See the sights, the cathedral topped with a gold Mary. Towers and parts of the old city wall. A palace-like building he explained to me but I don’t remember. The river and the fountains. The people so elegant and relaxed, the streets wide and leaf-shaded. Beautiful, everywhere beautiful. We go home and make love again and eat cheese and bread and I wonder when will I be able to go to the toilet. The toilet is a little closet with no sink… the bathroom has no toilet. It’s too unprotected. My body seizes up and demands a 20 minute safety window so I can relax, go to the toilet and not have him realise.

We go to the cinema, it’s lovely…. sit in the dark and he feels my fingernails, the badly applied polish addictively smooth to touch. We go for a drink after and want to meet his friends but they are going to a concert and don’t reply to his text asking to meet up later. We drink wine, talk about life, I make a comment about how I think my family thinks of me as someone deeply unhappy…

He holds my hand and tells me I deserve to be happy, so happy. It feels like something I would say to someone I wanted to find their own happiness, but had no intention of contributing to it personally. Like a breakup platitude…

But then, let’s go home and make love.

We go home and make love and I don’t want to sleep because the day will be over, and we will only have one day left.

We sleep sweetly and wake and breakfast and make love and shower and make love and shower and it’s all so perfect. We drive out of the city again… to see the vineyards. Lunch at a tourist-heavy medieval town full of wine and cafes. I order the chicken and it’s boring and dry. His is duck, and it’s succulent and lovely. He shares his with me and we have an expensive, lovely wine. Flies surround us as we eat. It’s annoying and I stress about the flies maybe being more around me than other people. But no, everyone has a lot of flies.

I still can’t go to the toilet. It just isn’t happening. My belly is a drum… It’s awful. I want to be slim like I was when I was in Italy. I want to look good…

We drive through towns in the hottest car in the universe, and stop for flan which is delicious and a cool drink at a boulangerie. I ask him what a boulange is and he says it’s nothing. Boulangerie means bakery. I have to stop saying stupid shit… But he often comments that I’m intelligent. For a woman… it’s a joke we have because his friend said that once, perfectly serious but drunk out of his mind. I tell him he’s pretty smart… for a man. We are in a bubble of stupidity really, but nothing matters.

I want him all the time. He kisses me every chance he gets. He touches me… he puts an arm around my shoulders and I feel like a woman and I feel loved. We drive for ages, we talk about everything. I talk more of course. He leans and kisses me passionately at traffic lights. I want him again… we can’t find a parking space so we drive far away, I’m going crazy because how can we not find a parking space? It feels like a massive conspiracy against us. Our precious time wasted in a car. Finally a spot is found, miles away. Long walk back to the apartment in the sweltering heat.

We pick up food in the supermarket and I feel like crying because that was the last day. I have to leave tomorrow and I don’t want to go, I want to be with him and it’s so hard…. I’m so happy with him by my side.

He notices the things I like about myself. He’s intelligent… he’s lovely, he’s polite, he pulls my chair out before I sit down…. he’s sweet and passionate. He’s interesting and he likes a lot of things I like and a lot of things I don’t know about.

Back in the apartment we fell onto each other, a whole day in the car and all that longing. I gave him the really, really, really good head. The stuff reserved for people you are afraid of losing. The effort, the diligence. He whispered that’s incredible and he came with a flicker of fear across his face. He held me tight and kissed me all over and told me it was amazing, incredible, amazing. I swelled up with love and so did he. We showered together again and he made dinner while I contemplated what I had to ask him, what I needed to tell him.

We ate duck breast, beautiful and pink inside. Potatoes with peppery, creamy sauce. Drank red wine while the words jumbled around in my head, waiting for the moment.

We smoked after dinner and kissed each other and I breathed deep.

So how do you feel about this? Now that I’ve come here….

He told me he was glad I came… it felt so good being with me. So happy, so relaxed.. but he didn’t want to make plans for the future, he couldn’t handle it. He couldn’t think about the future… his eyes widened in panic as he spoke.

I wanted to reach out into him, some special part where decisions could be made, reach out and press DO IT, JUMP WITH ME. Let’s be together…

You’re young but you love me, I’m young too but I’ve loved and risked and lost and started again and it’s worth it my fuck it is worth it. I’ve suffered.. I’ve cried and cried over worthless men but the feelings… the feelings were worth it. I don’t ever want to run away from the happiness because it’s scary, I’d rather take your hand now and lose you in a month than stand alone now to avoid the hurt. You can’t fall in love and avoid the hurt. It comes either way. But we can have more happiness before it comes. To make it all worth while… but I didn’t say that, I said something like that, something about how I wanted to try… but I didn’t want to make big plans either.

I knew I wasn’t saying all the right things that I needed to say but I was afraid to  say the thing that would make him run for the hills. We didn’t say we loved each other but it was obvious.

I told him how I was so hurt when he left because I thought he didn’t care, that it was all bullshit….  he stared at me incredulous… how could you think that? How could you imagine that?

And I explained, he told me he wanted to try move on, be happy without each other… but he said no, no, it’s easy to say… it’s hard to do. It was so tough losing you. So hard to say goodbye… I missed you so much. We kissed and held each other and I felt like no matter what he said it was fine, he obviously loved me, he made it clear. He just didn’t want to plan to be together. But I was in his arms and it didn’t matter, he clearly loved me, he couldn’t turn this down….

We went to bed and made love. And then again, the last time although I didn’t know it then. It was perfect. It was the most wonderful time I have ever had with anyone. He gasped I love you and we came together with our mouths together, kissing and still kissing as we came, and he stayed inside me and we kissed afterwards, until eventually we had to make sure the condom was still intact. We gazed at each other and our sweat shone and our eyes shone and I loved him so much and I have never felt so loved.

We smoked a joint but I became paranoid and couldn’t sleep… I wanted to go to the bathroom but I still couldn’t go. The joint made me panic, nearly three days without going…. could I die? I sat in the bathroom with paranoid thoughts for a long time, worrying about something vague, worrying worrying about it until I realised I was just thinking about goats…. my mind full of pictures of goats. Tried to shake it off… until I heard something, just when I thought maybe I could go, maybe… I got up and skulked into the kitchen, freaked out… thinking maybe someone had broken in… of course it was just him, of course… but the joint made me so paranoid. I found him in the light of the fridge, lean and tall, drinking milk with a straight back. He saw me and told me, he had been paranoid too. Thought I had just left… got up and left the apartment. We laughed at our paranoia.

We cuddled and smoked a cigarette and then went back to bed. I was sad because I don’t want to leave him, I want to sleep with him next to me. I want to wake up with his face to kiss, and I want to do beautiful things with him, make love and feel warm. He fits me so well, I wouldn’t need to be jealous, protective, paranoid… when I’m with him it all makes sense.

We had breakfast and a last glass of wine and we said we won’t be sad today, ok?

We bought a good bottle of vodka for the girls who lent us their apartment and left some money too. We packed our things and cleaned the apartment and changed the sheets and he collected all the condoms. Some of them hid, under the mattress, behind the bed. We rounded them all up and I realised that was the last time, last night was the last time. It was perfect. It couldn’t have been better. We left it at that. He drove me to the airport and said I don’t think we should spent an hour together in the airport, that isn’t good and he was right. He parked in a taxi spot and we kissed goodbye quickly and with a slight wrenching and parted suddenly. I walked into the airport without looking back and he drove away and I felt like crying but not like when he left me before.

I wanted to tell him so many things, I wanted to tell him I loved him and would he just cop on and be with me, whatever it takes, just stop being confused, realise how special this is.

I got my flight with a slightly broken heart but I was able to cope… after take off I picked up the last book I was reading, One Day. The bit at the end… the sad bit. I don’t know why I thought I could read that but I cried on the plane and for the first time as an adult, I cried on a plane and it had nothing to do with thinking I was going to die. I had to stop reading the book but it made me realise I was not totally ok. It would be hard, off course it would… the easy lightness when we spoke about everything, barely touching off what we should have spoken about… it doesn’t seem so cool and fine any more.

I’m not as desolate as I was last time… he made me feel sure that he loves me, and I still do…

It’s just…

Yesterday my mother got married to her long long long time partner. Official stepdad now. They were very sweet… I had a great day and a great night, I was in top form. But there was so much drinking and I only got about three hours of sleep. So this morning I had an atrocious case of the fear. I yearned for my lover. I ached for his warmth beside me, his sweet face and murmuring you’re beautiful.

And I wrote to Antoine saying I miss you. And he replied pretty quickly, yes it’s hard for me too to be separated again.

But then it went downhill… He said he thought it was pointless to write sweet things to each other because it’s not a substitute for actually being there. And he said we can’t just see each other for a few days here and there…

He would love to have a chance to make things happen but it’s not like that. I told him, look I’m not making plans about this yet, but I might be in France in a few months and we might have this chance. I really don’t want him to think it’s for him, it’s not. Without him I still want to do it, but with him I’d probably go to his city. Without him I’ll avoid his city. I do love his city… but I’m going anyway.

But he said, please don’t have these expectations, I don’t know, I’m lost… He said he loves me, he loves who I am, but he doesn’t know what he can offer me.

I told him I haven’t got expectations, I just love being with him and I’d like to see him again, even if just for a few days I think it is worth it. But he said, I have to go back to work, we can talk later.

And I remembered his dissertation and he only has a few days left to work on it. And here’s me badgering him about our relationship when he’s got a serious deadline…. Because I need hung over confirmation of his feelings, of things we have already talked about. MY best friend tells me move on, he isn’t worth it. He’s too young, he’s not ready.

But I want HIM, he’s the man I want. Why can’t I have the man I want, if I’m so freaking awesome? She told me I don’t realise how great I am, how special I am. But if I’m so special why isnt he chasing me across the globe, begging to be with me? I know he loves me. I know I’m special. I know he’s had the best sex of his life with me., the best time with any girl or woman… But what does that add up to? I don’t know if he will want to see me if I go to France. I would love to go to that city, I loved that city… but can I really go there if I’m gonna bump into this man who gives me goosebumps, who I love, tenderly, passionately… who loves me and loves being with me but doesn’t want to risk saying “ok let’s try this!”

Again I’m doing mental gymnastics for a man, to try and make sense of his love but disinterest. The feelings are sincere. He may say confused things but I know he is sincere. So where am I?

I had the best three days with anyone I’ve ever met, the best sex, the best romance, the best dates, the best time. And I should be happy… so happy… but I’m hung over and my love says he’s lost and doesn’t know and we’ll talk later but he was online later and didn’t write to me.

And what does he have to offer me? What is it? I’m addicted to the feeling I get when I’m with him. The first night we met and walked in the sun back from that party…. we talked a little bit, about our hopes, our families, our pet hates. I was ready for someone to sweep me off my feet and he did it so effortlessly, so simply. I fell for him that morning, that night… he was romantic. I don’t think I’m asking for anything. Just two people enjoying each other… does he think that’s too much or does he think if we lived nearby, I’d expect him to be at my side night and day, just like when we were in Ireland or France with limited time? If that’s his fear then no, no… I know that’s not sustainable long term. I’d want my own space too, even if only to give myself a chance to use the fucking toilet.

Some part of me knows I’m lying to myself and him, that I’m head over heels and stupidly so, and I won’t be happy until I’ve smothered the fire, worn out all the passion we have and can be finally bored of him and cast him off, lost and confused, and be my own woman again. Maybe all we have is passion and an appreciation of another lonely intelligent person who isn’t quite a nerd or quite a party animal, somewhere between romance and sex addiction, somewhere between doing what’s right and doing what feels good. Maybe I just opened my eyes to someone who’s kinda like me right at the moment when he came along, and now it seems like he’s the only one…. I don’t know…. is it him? Is it me, aching to make someone fit and be my companion in a life that’s lonely and confusing? I don’t even know where I’m fooling myself. I don’t know if maybe he’s being naive, making annoying decisions about what’s right and what’s wrong, or if he’s totally right, and his doubts are right, and I just can’t see the problems for myself because I don’t want to let go of something sweet.

I have lied to myself about every man I’ve met, and it’s a hard habit to break.

But I’m ok… I will survive. From one romantic crisis to the next,

yours, and always…

Abby N Flicker

Progress

Ok. Three or four posts today… Thanks to my blog family who are actually reading through all the insanity!

SO I still feel like utter shit and depressed and all but I am making brave plans,

I decided to go to the Stone Roses gig on Thursday, just decided to go and fuck it, and I found cheap tickets last minute and I’m going, and my best friend is going and so are some other cool people so YEAH!

Progress.

I’m not saying I don’t feel like crying, I’m just saying I am able to look forward to something, and it’s only a LITTLE TINY BIT about him seeing the cool photos of me having a great time and looking skinny and missing me. It’s only a little bit about that.

Also the guy who took the amazing photos of us together on our last weekend together, he’s going to be there and I was talking to him and he said if I was there he’d love to take more pictures of me. Because I’m so photogenic, well he said that when we were at the party anyway. So there, Frenchie.

There will be lots of really flattering pictures of me having fun at a concert and then you will be sorry.

And come back and be with me again.

Groan…

But look it’s improvement, definitely. I actually am looking forward to this…

And photographer guy is pretty hot and cool…

NO!

BAD ABBY!

No weird, common aquaintance-incestuous revenge fucks! Remember the lovely… oh. Yeah. No more FUCKING people. Want looovee and affection!

Might try to masturbate about someone else though tonight, see if I can do that without weeping.

Now what am I going to wear to this concert in the rain so that I look hot and like I am having a good time and so he regrets leaving the best woman he is ever going to meet for a few years anyway?

I think I might wear that dress, the black and white one with the stripes. I wore it the first night we met and I was all bloated with beer and period, and I still looked pretty damn good…. Now I’m in fantastic, frail shape… We shall see… It’s my sexiest dress of the moment anyway. It’s cool. I’m in fantastic shape thanks to a month of intense bedroom gymnastics and three days on a banana, some oat cakes and a cup of miso soup and a half a bowl of pasta. I’ll just stick on a pair of boots and a shitload of makeup and oh my god, this is lots of progress.

And I’m starting to be able to think, fuck him.

Like really, fuck him.

Just a little bit. Just a small bit… I’d still jump… but…

but…

But it’s progress.